Getting to talk to Parvati, a senior-citizen was not easy. Despite my efforts to befriend her, she wouldn’t. She looked at me curiously through her thick glasses. Only after having explained to her that I have come to ‘talk’ to her about Deepavali, she seemed convinced as the topic was of her interest or so I presumed.

Deepavali is just round the corner and people are gearing up for the same. Whether it is buying new clothes, cleaning the house or making sweets, Deepavali definitely sets the lady of the house spinning into action.

It is not just that, this festival is mainly for families to get together and enjoy. It is certainly not a one-day affair, planning for the same, starts months in advance. The chocked textile shops are certainly a proof for this planning. Earlier, women prefer to buy only silk saris. Now too they buy silk saris but they do not stop with that. They buy dozens of other clothes along with that.

Parvati says that she has always been asked by elders in the house to dress up beautifully to fit the occasion.

She says that she still remembers the days when they used to dress up well with the best of jewellery and pattu podavai, even if they were not stepping out of the house.

“Times are changing. People are willing to dress up in traditional attire even now but there are limitations,” says Parvati.

Aryamba Sivam, a second-year student of Kalakshetra Foundation, says affirmatively that the tradition is not dying, as claimed by a few. “I do like to dress up in traditional pattu pavadai thavani for Deepavali though I buy other modern clothes too.”

“For not following traditions, people can give many reasons. My argument is when you can dress up for a party, why not for a festival?” asks Aryamba.

There are lot of people who have their sentiments rooted deeply. So nothing changes them, neither their job nor their busy schedule. They follow the traditions and culture, come what may.

For Mithila Balaji, who is employed in a Government organisation, Deepavali is definitely about making yummy dishes at home, dressing up traditionally and inviting friends and relatives at home. “I manage to follow the best of practices during the festive season. Life is much easy these days, with almost everything including ‘Deepavali legiyam’ being delivered at your doorstep. I look forward to celebrating this festival every year,” she says.

Women love to dress up generally, then why not for a festival? “I feel taking the best of both old and new is the way of life now,” adds Mithila.

More In: Chennai | Downtown